1. Baltimore (@CLE) – In a week where defense looks to be a rare commodity, the Ravens are one of the few teams that actually have a good match up. The Brown’s offense has made substantial improvement but they are still pretty bad and the Baltimore D will prove it.
2. San Diego (KC) – This defense has struggled over the last couple of weeks but they should bounce back nicely against a dazed and confused Kansas City offense.
3. Pittsburgh (@ARI) – As expected, the Steelers have been one of the best defenses in the NFL so far. A fairly weak schedule to this point has a lot to do with that but they are good enough to match up well against most offenses, including Arizona’s. The Cardinals are in the midst of QB controversy and their top WR Anquan Boldin is likely out.
4. Green Bay (@MIN) – The Packer defense has been surprisingly great so far this season. They are a huge reason for Green Bay’s 3-0 start. Their only weakness may be against the pass, but lucky for them, The Viking passing game is almost non-existent. The Packers match up nicely this week.
5. Dallas (STL) – This defense has had its share of ups and downs so far but luckily the Cowboy offense is good enough to bail them out of any situation. They played much better last week and should have another good game against a Ram offense plagued by injuries and inefficiency.
6. Houston (@ATL) – We feel this defense is very under rated and often overlooked. They played as well as most any NFL defense could against a powerful Colt’s team last week and they have been especially good at stopping the run. Atlanta is coming off a strong offensive showing but the Texan D will likely put them back in their place this week.
7. NY Jets (@BUF) – The Jets making the top 10 should tell you a lot about the quality of defensive match ups this week. They are not a great defense by any stretch, and are one of the worst at stopping the run, but they are playing Buffalo this week. Enough said.
8. New England (@CIN) – This may be as low as you see them on this list all season. They face a very high powered offense on the road this week, and will likely give up a few big plays, but they are far too dominant and talented to give up too much.
9. Chicago (@DET) – The Bear’s defense was worn down and pummeled last week at home. This week they limp into Detroit to face a high octane passing attack. This defense is pretty beat up right now but they should still be feared, and they have a knack for creating turnovers which generally scores nicely in fantasy terms. Hopefully the new look offense will help get them some wind this week.
10. Carolina (TB) – They gave up a ton of yards last week to Atlanta but kept the Falcon’s out of the end zone enough to win the game. They should tighten up the pass D this week against hated rival Tampa Bay. This should be a good match up for Carolina but you never know in a rivalry game.
11. Minnesota (GB) – They should completely shut down the Packer’s run game which is already pretty non-existent but the Green Bay passing game has been on fire as of late, and should give the Viking secondary fits. If they can limit Favre they should be effective over all but that is unlikely especially since he is shooting for Marino’s TD record. This is a talented defense but they have to pay more attention to the pass.
12. Tampa Bay (@CAR) – The Buc’s defense must think it is 2002 again. We guess they just took a few years off to get their 2nd wind but they appear to be back. They face a pretty good Panther offense this week in a hated rivalry that has developed over the last few years. They may have some trouble with the Panther’s speed but should have decent game overall.
13. Seattle (@SF) – This is not the same defense from two years ago but they can hold their own. San Francisco has had their struggles offensively this year and the Sea Hawks should again, hold their own. Do not expect a great game though.
14. Philadelphia (@NYG) - This is not a bad defense, they just aren’t very consistent and haven’t seemed to really come together as a unit. They face a pretty good offense this week in the Giants but they should not sustain too much damage. Their best asset as a fantasy defense is their ability to create turnovers.
15. San Francisco (SEA) – They aren’t really a shut down defense but their bend don’t break philosophy helps keep them out of trouble. They have had pretty good success against the Sea Hawks in the past and they are improved. They will not be magical but not a bad option this week at home.
16. Indianapolis (DEN) – They are not the first name that comes to mind when we think of defense and that is because they are mediocre at best. They do just enough to help the high powered offense win the game for them. They face a talented Denver offense at home this week and will likely give up some points and a lot of rushing yards. The Colt’s D will not be the worst by any stretch but they probably won’t help you a whole lot either.
17. Atlanta (HOU) – This defense is actually pretty bad, especially against the run but they face a depleted Houston offense this week, and the Falcons are at home. They will probably still give up enough to lose the game but they may keep the score low enough to help your fantasy team.
18. Arizona (PIT) – The Cardinal defense is undoubtedly improved from a year ago but they still have some work to do. The Pittsburgh offense presents a pretty good challenge but they should hold them to the low 20’s at worst.
19. Miami (OAK) – The Dolphin’s defense was expected to be one of the best this season, it turns out they are one of the worst. The match up against the Raiders is not necessarily a bad one for them but they have been beaten offenses of equal or slightly better caliber. They have little to offer in terms of fantasy value.
20. Oakland (@MIA) – The Raider defense seems to have lost a step from last year but lucky for them the offense has improved quite a bit. This isn’t a horrible match up at Miami but the Dolphins are slowly improving on offense and close to getting their first win. We suggest avoiding this defense for now if you can.
21. Kansas City (@SD) – They have played better than expected to this point, if they could only get some help from the offense they might not be too bad. Rough match up this week against a hungry Charger offense.
22. Denver (@IND) – The secondary is the only thing keeping this team in games and they will need it more than ever against Peyton Manning and the Colts. This is a good week to look to your back up defense if they are your regular starter.
23. Cleveland (BAL) – Hey, they won’t be the worst ranked defense for two weeks in a row. This is actually pretty respectable ranking for them but it’s only because they are at home and the Raven’s are not prone to putting up a lot of points, even against bad defenses.
24. NY Giants (PHI) – They played much better last week but the secondary is still crap and you saw what McNabb can do to a crappy secondary.
25. Buffalo (NYJ) – They are hardly worth mentioning. Don’t use them.
26. Detroit (CHI) – This defense got straight waxed last week. This week’s match up is much improved but you almost have to be out of your mind to start them against anyone right now. Drop them immediately if you haven’t already done so.
27. St. Louis (@DAL) – This defense is not completely awful, but Dallas’ offense can make even the best defenses look pathetic.
28. Cincinnati (NE) – They finally found their way to the bottom and with good reason. They are facing New England’s offense. If you dare start them, you will likely become the first guy in fantasy football history to have overall negative points for the week. Congratulations in advance, that’s quite a fete. People will almost certainly forget who won your league championship in 10 years, but they will always remember that, so long as you don’t mind being referred to as “some idiot” for the rest of your life.